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Four Categories of PTSD Symptoms

There are four categories of PTSD symptoms. Did you even know there were categories? Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is an anxiety disorder that can result from exposure to trauma. PTSD involves four main types of symptoms: Hyper-Arousal Intrusive Recollection Avoidance Numbing PTSD is diagnosed when these symptoms last longer than a month and cause significant distress or impairment in functioning. Hyper-Arousal Hyper-arousal is an unpleasant sensation where the person feels hyper-aware of every stimuli. They are aware of every tiny sound. The person is hyper-vigilant, startles easily, and often feels… Read More »Four Categories of PTSD Symptoms

Trauma 101

It’s time for a quick trauma 101. Let’s look at some of the most frequent questions. What is trauma? What are the risk factors? What are the symptoms? How do we treat trauma? What is trauma? Trauma is a powerful emotional response to a distressing event, such as war, an accident, the unexpected loss of a loved one, or abuse. Trauma can continue to cause both emotional and physical symptoms for many years after the event has concluded. Trauma is complicated. It can be obvious, with a clear cause, and… Read More »Trauma 101

What Causes PTSD?

Now that we know how to define PTSD and the symptoms, let’s talk about what causes PTSD. We’re going to get technical for a minute, so hang on with me. As humans, we are born with built-in alarms systems to alert us to danger so we can either “fight or flee.” That alarm system, which is commonly called the “limbic system” or the “arousal system”, is vital to our survival. When activated by stress, the alarm system prepares you to fight off an attack or to flee (escape), which means… Read More »What Causes PTSD?

How do I know if I have PTSD?

How do I know if I have PTSD? What are the things I should be looking for? Are there things my loved ones can watch out for? The APA PTSD clinical symptoms include symptoms of arousal and activity. What does that mean? You are irritable, angry, and aggressive. You are reckless. You take chances. You are always on guard, easily startled, and have difficulty concentrating when you may have been very good at concentrating before the trauma. Suddenly, you cannot focus on one thing at a time. And of course,… Read More »How do I know if I have PTSD?

What you didn’t know about PTSD

Let’s talk about what you didn’t know about PTSD today. Post-traumatic stress disorder develops after exposure to traumatic events. This includes psychological and behavioral problems. Roughly 8% of Americans will develop PTSD at some point in their lives. 30% of veterans may experience PTSD, and women are approximately twice as likely as men to develop PTSD. These are alarming statistics. Here are some clinical symptoms you or your loved one suffering from PTSD may have: Pervasive and intrusive memories, nightmares, flashbacks, and dissociation.  Extreme distress associated with reminders of the… Read More »What you didn’t know about PTSD

How Can You Treat Trauma?

How can you treat trauma? Well, there are many ways that trauma can be treated. Here are a few methods that you may want to investigate further. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) – This is a standard and well-supported treatment for Trauma disorders. CBT works by identifying and challenging unhealthy thinking patterns that contribute to the symptoms of trauma. The benefits of CBT can be long-lasting and beneficial.  Psychoeducation – This method can help by normalizing the experience of trauma, and by giving a name to the enemy. It can help… Read More »How Can You Treat Trauma?

What are some Symptoms of Trauma

The next question is, what are the symptoms of trauma? First, let’s review the definition of trauma. Trauma is a robust emotional response to a distressing event, such as war, an accident, the unexpected loss of a loved one, or abuse. Trauma can continue to cause both emotional and physical symptoms for many years after the event has concluded.  People who go through these types of extremely traumatic experiences often have specific symptoms and problems afterward. The severity of these symptoms depends on the person, the type of trauma involved, and… Read More »What are some Symptoms of Trauma

Accurate Definitions of Trauma

As we think about trauma, we need to have accurate definitions of trauma. Here are some different terms were going to be talking about in the next few blog posts. Trauma is a robust emotional response to a distressing event, such as war, an accident, the unexpected loss of a loved one, or abuse. Trauma can continue to cause both emotional and physical symptoms for many years after the event has concluded.  In the diagnostic and statistical manual, the DSM-V, trauma is defined as exposure to actual or threatening death, serious… Read More »Accurate Definitions of Trauma

How to enjoy the holidays while also honoring your loss – Part 3

Here are more tips on how to enjoy the holidays while honoring your loss. Tell your stories. Stories help us stay connected to those who have died and help us create meaning about what we have experienced. Finding a place for that story to be received is an essential part of the grief journey. Document your stories. Tell the story of your loved one as it relates to the holiday season to someone who listens well. You can also spend some time writing specific memories related to your loved one… Read More »How to enjoy the holidays while also honoring your loss – Part 3

How to enjoy the holidays while also honoring your loss – Part 2

Here are more tips on how to enjoy the holidays while also honoring your loss. Remember, the holiday season can be one of the most challenging times of the year for those grieving. Feel your grief. Our most basic nature is to approach pleasure and avoid pain. Yet, our more evolved nature can contact pain if we know there is an ultimate benefit in doing so. Our natural resistance to the pain of grief can create more pain. Be purposeful in remembering your loved one. Be intentional about scheduling time… Read More »How to enjoy the holidays while also honoring your loss – Part 2